California is guilty of racism and must pay reparations

California is a troubled state.  Its cities are drowning in a sea of feces and needles from the homeless flooding the streets, crime is rampant, the cost of living has gone through the roof, illegal aliens are pouring into the state, and people who aren't bazillionaires can't wait to leave.  And now, just to make it a bit more hostile to the average person, the "California Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans" has released a 500-page report detailing its history of unparalleled racism and demanding reparations from taxpayers.

It is true that Blacks in California are not doing well:

California is home to the fifth-largest Black population in the U.S., after Texas, Florida, Georgia and New York, the report said. An estimated 2.8 million Black people live in California, according to the report, although it is unclear how many are eligible for compensation.

African Americans make up nearly 6% of California's population yet they are overrepresented in jails, youth detention centers and prisons. About 28% of people imprisoned in California are Black and in 2019, African American youth made up 36% of minors ordered into state juvenile detention facilities.

Nearly 9% of people living below the poverty level in the state were African Americans and 30% of people experiencing homelessness in 2019 were Black, according to state figures.

Black Californians earn less and and are more likely to be poor than white residents. In 2018, Black residents earned on average just under $54,000 compared to $87,000 for white Californians. In 2019, 59% of white households owned their homes, compared with 35% of Black Californians.

According to the task force, this is because of slavery.  Of course, for anyone who has forgotten his history, California was not a slave state, although it was a state with a fair amount of racism.  Indeed, California is still a highly, albeit voluntarily, segregated state.  For a Californian to travel to the southeast and see the level of voluntary integration there is a culture shock.

For California to do penance for its guilt,

[t]he task force recommends creating a state-subsidized mortgage program to guarantee low rates for qualifying African American applicants, as well as free health care, free tuition to California colleges and universities and scholarships to African American high school graduates to cover four years of undergraduate education.

The committee also calls for a Cabinet-level secretary position to oversee an African American Affairs agency with branches for civic engagement, education, social services, cultural affairs and legal affairs. It would help people research and document their lineage to a 19th-century ancestor so they could qualify for financial restitution.


The committee voted in March to limit reparations to the descendants of Black people living in the U.S. in the 19th century, overruling advocates who wanted to expand compensation to all Black people in the U.S.

Image: Members of the Reparations Task Force.  YouTube screen grab.

Here are a few things the task force may not have covered:

When the Civil War began, California's population was 379,994.  Its population today is estimated at 38,959,247.  Of that number, 32.2% of Californians are Hispanic, and 11.7% are Asian.  Even the 4.8% of Blacks aren't necessarily connected to slavery because that number includes people who arrived from Africa and the Caribbean after slavery ended in the U.S.  My obvious point is that a whole bunch of people who did not benefit from slavery and are not complicit in, nor have they benefited from racism, are nonetheless being told to pay up.

More compellingly, California is filled with people who came there with nothing (and some faced tremendous racial prejudice) but have thrived.  The most notable group is the Asians.  The first generation, starting in the 19th century, faced greater prejudice in California than the Blacks did.  And the ones who arrived here beginning in the 1970s fleeing communism arrived with nothing but have leaped from poverty to the middle class in a generation.  Hispanics, too, have faced great discrimination over the years, but they too have thrived.

The difference between Asians and Hispanics, on the one hand, and Blacks, on the other hand, is cultural.  The Asians usually have intact homes and put a huge premium on education.  The Hispanics usually have intact homes and put a huge premium on hard work.  These are cultural pressures that shape children to go on to productive and often profitable lives.  Meanwhile, roughly 77% of Black children are in single-parent homes, a sure indicator of future poverty.  And as often as not, there's no father involved, which leads to higher criminal rates for boys.

Let me be blunt.  Throwing more money at Blacks will make virtue-signaling White leftists feel a little more virtuous.  It will not help those Blacks who are sinking into a morass of poverty, crime, abuse, and despair.  The only thing that will change is when they stop looking for reparations (even arguably deserved ones) and start repairing their broken communities.

(For a really surprising look at the culture of Blacks mired in poverty, I highly recommend Thomas Sowell's Black Rednecks & White Liberals.)

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